Category Archives: Field Service

Microsoft Inspections

Installation

When trying to install the Preview of Microsoft’s Inspections by following this manual:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/field-service-preview

when executing the command from Step 5:

Get-CrmFlights -ApiUrl $url -Credential $cred

I got an error explaining that the module “Microsoft.Xrm.OnlineManagementAPI” could not be loaded. At line:1 char:1.

So I executed

Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned -Scope Process
which only allows an execution of signed scripts for this one PowerShell session.

Everything else worked fine and I got these solutions in the end:

Latest Field Service Version now: 8.8.28.50. Without Preview it was 8.8.23.24

Creating an Inspection questionnaire

Apart from some other data types you can use Entity Lookups:

For Number fields you can directly set a possible number range:

Files and Photos can be attached by users:

You can upload more than one attachments to the same File type question.

I like the way how Input place holder text can be provided:

Also the Other option is great. It shows a textbox only if the Other option was chosen (available for Dropdown, Checkbox and Radiogroup):

Great Preview functionality of the questionnaire is directly available from the editor:

Logic in Inspection Questionnaire

Basic Logic like show/hide or “make required” can be implemented:

Of course you can have more than one Logic definitions:

However what immediately came to my mind was the missing possibility to evaluate data input against other CDS/CRM data.

So let’s say I want to compare a date provided by the person filling in the questionnaire whith a date that is available on a Customer Asset record that is related to the Service Task or Questionnaire, how can we do that?

My first impression is that there is not yet any possibility like that available right now. It would be great if Microsoft can provide something similar to Workflows or Calculated Fields to provide some related record data here for display as well as for validation purposes [improve@Microsoft].

Even if you want to use the provided lookup for a logic it seems like you would need to provide a GUID since there’s no lookup in the Logic editor.

Also operators like “greater that” might not make any sense when comparing records/ GUIDs. So MS still needs to exclude them from possible options here [improve@Microsoft].

Service Task

Than you create your Service Task Type containing the Inspection questionnaire:

The questionnaire even gets displayed on the Service Task Type Form.

On your Work Order Service Task you’ll get another new field “Result”:

Also see the Clear Responses button in the ribbon bar. All responses are reset/deleted by clicking it.

Also the questionnnaire is displayed here and you can directly start filling it in here in your Browser.

Entity lookup: only records where the User has privileges for are displayed. Keep in mind: only “Name”-field of related record is displayed. Would be great if in future versions it can act like an usual lookup field in D365CE [imporve@microsoft].

Once published, an Inspection can’t be unpublished and edited anymore [however this is on Microsoft’s roadmap], but from the main menues Lnspection list you can highlight and than copy the Inspection and create a new version of it this way:

Mobile

In Mobile (Field Service Mobile Power App) it would look similar to this:

(Picture by Microsoft)
(Picture by Microsoft)

Microsoft’s Inpections als work on Resco based Field Service Mobile. To use it you have to donload a new Woodford Mobile Template, see/download from here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/inspections#perform-inspections-on-mobile

(Picture by Microsoft)

Run Power Automate Flows triggered by Inspection Responses

See here the video published by Microsoft, even if it is showing the deprecated D365 connector:

Roadmap

  • pages: allow to add your questions to an inspection “page” so that you can also skip whole pages
  • GA October 2020

Attention

According to Microsoft’s docs-article, Inspections cannot be exported and imported to other environments. Hope/expect that will improve as well [improve@Microsoft].

Sources / more information:

Articles by Dian Taylor (MVP) including Video recordings:

Manuals by Microsoft:

Installation manual (for preview version): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/field-service-preview

Comprehensive User manual including explanation of Power Automate triggered by Inspection responses: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/inspections

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Deprecation of Resco based Field Service Mobile App

Microsoft has announced the deprecation of the current Resco based Field Service Mobile App by June 2022.

From June 2021 on new Field Service setups have to use the new Field Service Mobile App which is fully made by Microsoft and in fact is a Model Driven App as we know it today.

The new App can be tested from Field Service Version 8.8.22.x onwards. In mobile App Stores (i.e. Google Playstore) the new app is called “Field Service Mobile (2020)” as of today.

There are some offline capabilities including sync filters already but it looks like offline logic implementation is not as easy and comprehensively possible as is it with the Resco based Field Service app. Also many other functionalities are currently missing, but Microsoft promises to catch up.

Some things that are still missing are: Push notifications, Geofencing and Location Auditing, Reporting, IoT Alerts, Remote Assist and MS Intune.

Interesting is also a new control called “Form Component Control”, which can be used to embed a Work Order form into a Booking form:

Will this be a general new feature which can be used for all other forms as well? – It looks like!

Resco will continue to evolve its Mobile Application Development Framework and will also continuously provide new features and mobile solutions. Resco already offers different mobile solutions and templates (i.e. an advanced Field Service template, Sales template, Route Planning, Inspections) that are working perfectly together with Dynamics 365 and will continue to do so after June 2022. That means by the time Microsoft catches up with current Resco technology there will be new functionality available for Users that stay with Resco as well. On the other hand also Microsoft is rapidly growing its Power Apps capabilities.

For now the direction to go would be for more sophisticated requirements and larger implementation projects Resco will probably be the better fit. For more simple / standard requirements Microsoft’s model drivel app could be worth to consider.

To sum that up – it will not be end of development for the excellent Resco Field Service mobile technology – it will rather be a separation between the Microsoft FS Mobile App and the Resco FS Mobile App. Of course we’ll eventually have to pay Resco separately if we want to use their enhanced solutions. But competition is generally good for the market and customer segmentation has always made sense.

Source and more information:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/mobile-2020-power-platform

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FS Mobile: Remove Signature from Notes

On Resco for Dynamics or Field Service Mobile Client you by default have this (in my opinion unnecessary) Signature field on every Note form.

Note Form with Signature panel

So you might ask yourself why do you need the huge Signature area on each and every Note form. Usually it should be enough to capture Notes only on Work Orders and maybe for some special (custom) forms/processes. It confuses the End User if all he wants is adding an attachment or even only a text Note.

So what you can do is removing the Signature area by a simple On Can Execute rule on the Note form:

On Can Execute Command on Note form

After you have configured this you would not see the Signature panel on a Note form anymore and also not the Signature command from the upper right burger menu of the Note form.

Note Form without Signature panel
Note menu without Signature command

You can still configure one or more Signature sections for each of your forms as you already have it OOB on the Work Order form in FS Mobile.

Add Signature Tab to a Form

  1. in Woodford, go to Entity where you want to add the Signature
  2. click “Add Media”
  3. provide Name
  4. Select “Capture Signature” and “Clear”
  5. Optional: Provide “Required for Status”. Example: Status “Approved” only possible with Signature
  6. Subject: Title of the Note

Similarly you can apply this for Photos, Videos, Files, … You could also have one Tab for Signature capturing and another Tab for Photo and/or Video capturing. Or collect multiple Signatures on one form by having different Tabs for that.

More information & sources

More details/inspirational source of how to add a Signature to a Form:
https://red365ce.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/resco-mobilecrm-adding-a-digital-signature-to-forms/

For more information about On Can Execute, which enables you to conditionally hide or show commands/buttons in the upper right corner of forms, see here:
https://www.resco.net/woodford-user-guide/#__RefHeading__5865_1627906509

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Standard Setup Tasks Field Service Mobile

Always, when I setup a new Field Service Mobile, there are some steps I go through to ensure, everything is initially working in a comfortable manner.

Surely some of the steps aren’t required but have proven to be my best practice for new instances.

  1. create Resources and ensure that they are enabled for FS Mobile
  2. install Woodford
  3. install the latest Project Template from here and make a derivate out of it in which you perform all following mobile customizations
  4. in Woodford, go to plugins and activate the most important Delete plugins: Work Order, WO Product, WO Service, WO Service Task, …
  5. in your Project Template derivate, go to Configuration and set Save Password to true

6. edit the Sync Filters to also include data from the past (1-2 weeks) for: Work Order, WO Product, WO Service Task, WO Service, WO Incident, Resource Booking.

7. switch the default Booking View Layout from Calendar to List. To do so, go to Home=>Bookable Resource Bookings=>Properties=>Properties=>Initial Control=>switch from Calendar to List

8. activate your 30-days Trial of Woodford here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/activate-fs-mobile-app-license

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Customize the Schedule Board

To customize the Schedule Board has some special limitations but also a lot of possibilities.

Requirement Lists

This is one of the most wanted things to customize.
You can easily use all different kinds of Views from the Entity Resource Requirement on the Schedule Board.

  • System views as well as Personal Views (good for advanced Users customizing their own Schedule Board tab) can be displayed.

Booking Templates

Can be defined per Schedulable Entity.

Good reference here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/booking-template

Tooltips

  • displayed fields are defined by a View

Tooltips that are defined once across all Schedulable Entities:

  • Resource Map Pins: Resource Tooltips View
  • Organizational Unit Map Pins: Organizational Unit Tooltips View

Tooltips individual per Schedulable Entity:

  • Requirement Map Pins (here also personal view possible): Requirement Map Pin Tooltips View
  • Booking Map Pin or Booking Tile: Booking Tooltips View

Note: the Booking Tile’s Booking Tooltips View in the Daily/Weekly and Monthly View are not customizable as of now [improve@MS].

Details Pane

Sliding out from the right after selecting an item.

Views that are defined once across all Schedulable Entities:

  • Resource Map Pin or Resource Card: Resource Details View
  • Organizational Unit Map Pin: Organizational Unit Details View

Views individual per Schedulable Entity:

  • Booking Map Pin or Booking Tile: Booking Details View
  • Requirement Map Pin or Requirement from Requirements List (here also personal view possible): Requirement Details View

Map View filter

  • Requirement Map Filter View
  • Determines which Requirements (Requirement Map Pins) are shown on the map.
  • only the filter, not the columns matter
  • is independent of the Views on the Requirements Panel /Requirement Lists)
  • if Apply Territory Filter from Tab parameters (gearwheel symbol) is set to yes, ADDITIONALLY the Territories of the filter fields will be applied to sort out the displayed Requirement Map Pins

Other Adjustments

  • Increase Booking width (zoom in): slider at the bottom right. This is saved for the Schedule Board Tab (for all users).
  • remove columns from List View directly: only temporarily/local, not saved.

Customization Tips

  • make default schedule board not editable per Security Role
  • if the setting for a Schedule Board Tab from 2nd gearwheel, upper right corner, should be saved, the User needs update privileges for this Schedule Board Settings entity record. Changes would be visible for all other Users of this tab as well than. More information: Shared vs. personal Schedule Board (by Microsoft).

Advanced Customization

Resource Cell

See here:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/extending-schedule-boardif-i-can-do-you-too-scott-lefante/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/extend-schedule-board-custom-resource-attribute

Dynamically get the displayed date range and use it for count in Resource Cell:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2017/12/15/new-use-schedule-board-date-ranges-in-custom-queries-in-universal-resource-scheduling/

Custom Tab in Details area (left)

A Web Resource can be integrated on the right as Custom Tab:
https://www.powerobjects.com/blog/2016/08/01/advanced-customizations-for-the-custom-tab-in-the-field-service-schedule-board/

Query extentions / Filter Layout extentions

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/extend-schedule-board-custom-resource-attribute

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/10/16/blog-post-july-2017-update-for-field-service-and-project-service-automation-universal-resource-scheduling-part-1/?source=crm

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/common-scheduler/developer/extensibility-release-notes

Add a Sort By criteria

Get an insight into how to add a Sort By criteria by using the example of total available time. Also see how UFX works here.

https://community.dynamics.com/365/projectserviceautomation/b/dynamics-365-for-project-service-automation-blog/posts/how-to-sort-results-by-total-available-time-when-searching-for-resource-availability

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/12/15/sort-available-resources-by-total-available-time-in-universal-resource-scheduling/

Book-Button extention

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2017/07/14/dynamically-build-your-schedule-assistant-search-by-changing-the-url/

Custom Javascripts, CSS, and label localization on the Schedule Board

Create a new Client Extension record and associate it to the Schedule Board Setting record that contains your Schedule Board Tab or leave the Schedule Board Setting id field empty to have it affecting all Schedule Board Tabs .

https://community.dynamics.com/365/b/365teamblog/posts/july-2017-update-for-field-service-and-project-service-automation-universal-resource-scheduling-part-1

More information / sources:

6 tips for global versus local changes – Universal Resource Scheduling (by Microsoft)

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Embed Forms Pro Survey into Field Service Mobile

Here is a nice article by Thomas Dayman that gives a short overview of how to embed a Survey Questionnaire created with the new Microsoft Forms Pro into the Field Service Mobile app.
The approach is to create an Offline HTML file where Thomas provides a sample code snippet for, and embed that via iFrame into a Form in Woodford.

Compared to Resco’s new Inspections the Forms Pro integration doesn’t support offline scenarios. Resco Inspections comes with additional licence cost whereas for Forms Pro it is still not clear how the licencing will look like.

Microsoft Forms Pro embedded in Field Service Mobile
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Activate CE Field Mappings in Field Service Mobile

Say you add the Contact subgrid into your Account form on Field Service Mobile because you’re expecting your Field Agents to also capture new Contacts and they are first searching for the Account first instead of adding the Contacts directly from Home=>Contacts.

Now if you tab on “+” at the top of the Contacts subgrid on the Account form the “New” form for Contacts opens.

And now the difference here is: if you leave the setting from below in its standard configuration as it comes out of the box, your address fields will stay empty so that for the new Contact you have to fill everything in manually.

But if you change the setting “Use Entity & Attribute Map” to “true”, the address fields on a new Contact form are automatically populated from the same fields on the Account form were you had started your journey.

Resco Field Mapping
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Mobile: Only load Customer Assets for which you have Work Orders

If you have too many Customer Assets in your Dynamics 365 database and you don’t want to have all of them offline available in your Field Service Mobile client you can set up a Sync Filter to do that.

Open Woodford=>Customer Asset and click on Sync Filter.
Than set it up like this:

Woodford Sync Filter Customer Assets

After saving the filter don’t forget to set the Incremental Linked SyncFilter (on top of the field list) to Enable:

If you want to go deeper, you can read here what this flag does:
https://www.resco.net/woodford-user-guide/#__RefHeading__5819_1627906509

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RSO enhancements October ’19

Version 3.0.19263.1 of Resource Scheduling Optimization brings the following functionalities:

  • Constraint “Meets Resource Preferences” also respects the new Resource Preference Type “Must Choose From” to force selection from certain Resouces only
  • new Objective “As Soon As Possible”: helps to front load rather than leaving some emergency/unplanned capacity
  • new Constraint “Meets Required Roles”: matches Requirement Roles with Resource Roles
  • RSO recalculates Travel Time also for locked bookings (Operation Details: “Only the travel time was updated for the booking.”)

Source & more information:
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/10/03/whats-new-in-dynamics-365-resource-scheduling-optimization-version-3-0-19263-1/

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Version History FIELD SERVICE, Universal Resource Scheduling & RSO

The official docs-page from Microsoft provides information to the major releases, i.e. V. 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 and so on:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/version-history

Also the latest generally available Woodford Mobile Project Template versions incl. download links and the Woodford solution itself can be found on the site above.

However the minor update documentation is not directly linked from the above mentioned page. Therefore I (try to) list all the update announcements I come across here:

Minor Update Versions

V.8.8.3.533 (Sept. 10, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/09/10/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-3-533/

V.8.8.2.160 (August 11, 2019):
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/08/11/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-2-160/

V.8.8.1.45 (July 07, 2019):
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/07/07/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-for-field-service-version-8-8-1-45/

Field Service Mobile Updates

Mobile App V.11.3 and Project Template 1.0.2735 (September 30, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/09/30/release-notes-for-field-service-mobile-app-version-11-3-and-mobile-project-template-version-1-0-2735/

Universal Resource Scheduling (URS) Updates

V.3.8.0.105 (June 11, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/06/11/enhancements-and-bug-fixes-in-universal-resource-scheduling-urs-version-3-8-0-105/

Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) Updates

V.3.0.19263.1 (October 3, 2019)
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2019/10/03/whats-new-in-dynamics-365-resource-scheduling-optimization-version-3-0-19263-1/

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Resource Preferences

Technically the entity Requirement Resource Preference serves as a container for preferred, restricted or possible Resources under
a) the Account
b) the Resource Requirement of a Work Order
c) the Resource Requirement of a Requirement Group Template

On the field Preference Type you have the options

  • Preferred
  • Restricted
  • Must choose from (new!)

What is the difference between Must choose from and Preferred?

When having Preferred Resources you will get this after having clicked Find Availability on the Schedule Board (pretty new heart symbol):

Also the Find Availability will sort show your Preferred Resources at the top of the list.
When you open the Schedule Assistant by clicking the Book-Button on the Work Order you’ll find your Preferred Resources highlighted by the same pretty heart symbol as well, however not sorted at the top of your list:

The difference to Must choose from is, that with this option the Schedule Assistant or Find Availability really only brings you these Resources back in your search results.

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Variations of the Requirement Group setup and further detailed hints

Requirement Groups – options for alternative combinations

When creating a Requirement Group or a Requirement Group Template we are able to configure several possible combinations of Group members within one Requirement Group.

Example: We have a large Implementation Project and need two Project Managers. But these could either be one Senior plus one Junior, or alternatively two Project Managers on the Advanced level.

Our Resources are set up with these Skills and Rating Values:

Our Requirement Group (Template) will look like this:

Additionally I have opened each of the four Requirements of this Group configuration and set the corresponding Rating Value:

When we than execute the search by hitting the Book button in the ribbon of the Requirement Group (Template), and raising the Results Per Interval to 10, we’re getting these results:

Recognize that we are getting all possible combinations of Resources to fulfill each of the Requirements with an appropriate skill level in the configured combination and the system also respects our Rating Value. For example it does not propose to create a Group of Tom and Tim because Tom has only a low skill level (familiar) that would require a Senior (proficient skill level) on his side according to our configuration.

Requirement Group functionality

  • you can’t schedule Requirements that are part of a Requirement Group by using the Schedule Board. Use the Book-button from the parent record instead.
  • Requirement Groups are possible for Onsite, Location Agnostic and Facility Work Locations.
  • Always the same for all Requirements of a Requirement Group (updating them on one Requirement updates them on all others from the same Group automatically):
    • Duration (also gets auto-populated/updated from ‘Work Order’.’Primary Incident Estimated Duration’)
    • Fulfillment Preference
    • Work Location (also gets auto-populated/updated from Work Order changes)
    • Latitude/Logitude (also gets auto-populated/updated from Work Order changes)
    • From Date / To Date (also gets auto-populated/updated from ‘Work Order’.’Date Window Start’ /’Date Window End’).
    • Booking Setup Metadata and schedulable entity (Work Order, Project, custom entity, …)

Sources and more information:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/field-service/multi-resource-scheduling-requirement-groups

Hints for working with Requirement Groups in Work Orders (by leveraging Incident Type Requirement Groups)

Preferred Resources

If a Primary Incident Type that contains an Incident Type Requirement Group has been used in a Work Order, than the Resource Preferences which are kept as child records of the Service Account are not auto-populated neither into the Work Order nor into the Requirement Group based Resource Requirements of this Work Order.

However we can associate Preferred Resources to the Requirement Group Template.

Here a Requirement Group Template without preferred Resources:


Leading to these search results when setting the Results Per Interval to 3:

But if we now add two defined Resources into the Preferred Resource field of our “Associate”-Requirement of the Requirement GroupTemplate:

and than perform the search again with the setting of 3 Results Per Interval, we’re only getting two results per interval back:

This is because we have restricted the number of possible Resources for one of the Requirements to two. And because we don’t have any other Resources available which could fulfill the “Technician”-Requirement, there are only two options left per interval.

So if you have large customers who each have a certain selection of possible Resources (similar to Resource Preferences under the Account record), than you could create one Incident Type per large customer that, in combination with one Requirement Group Template per large customer, serve as a replacement of the Preferred Resource (Resouce Preferences with Preference Type: Preferred) under the Account.

Technically the entity Requirement Resource Preference serves as a container for Preferred Resources under
a) the Account
b) the Resource Requirement of a Work Order
c) the Resource Requirement of a Requirement Group Template

Find more info here: Requirement Resource Preference

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Bookable Resource – Form Customization

If you try to copy the OOB Bookable Resource form you might experience that some client side scripting doesn’t seem to be applied to your copied form anymore. Even when you haven’t done ANY other customizations except of copying it.

In this case the Facility/Equipment lookup isn’t hidden anymore when choosing the Resource Type Contact. On the uncustomized form this would have been hidden.

Strange as this usually doesn’t happen, right? If you have JS references you should have copied these references as well to your new form, right?

So when you dig deeper you’re finding that there now are business rules activated for the Bookable Resource form. I think this is rather new that MS delivers Business Rules out of the box. Fine for non-coders!!

The problem seems to be that the Business Rules here are set to scope “Information” which is only the one original OOB form, so your copy of it doesn’t inherit these Business Rules.

Another fascinating thing is that when you go into the Default Solution via old Solution explorer, you’ll see three business rules (above). When using Level Up (Browser Plugin), you’ll find 6 Business Rules taking effect here:

So you would need to go to the new maker experience to find / customize all 6 of them:

Next obstacle is: you can’t just change the scope of these Business Rules (I wouldn’t even know if this would be supported or not) as at least one of them has the Managed Property “Customizable” set to Flase:

Note: trying to customize from Business Rule “Show Enabled for Field Service Mobile field if Resource Type is User]” from within the new maker experience caused for me a state of no return, at least from make.powerapps.com: the BR got Deactivated and I could neither change it nor reactivate it anymore [improve@MS]. A resolution has luckily been to reactivate it from the old solution explorer (upper screenshot).

So what are you going to do to get the same behavior as on your OOB form also for your custom Resource form?

You need to copy the Business Rules delivered by Microsoft, than edit the Scope to your custom Form and activate the copies.
In the end you would have it like this:

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Requirement Groups in Work Orders

In a former article I have explained how Requirement Groups and Requirement Group Templates work.

Now I’m going to show you how these can be leveraged when using Work Orders.

Configure the Incident Type

  1. create a Requirement Group Template as explained in above mentioned article
  2. create a new Incident Type: Field Service=>Settings=>Incident Types=>”+ New”
  3. Give the new Incident Type a name (my recommendation: provide a hint in the name that helps you later on to remember that this Incident Type is based on a Requirement Group):

4. On the Incident Type form, go to Related=>Requirement Groups
5. create a new Incident Type Requirement Group:

6. associate the formerly created Requirement Group Template to it via the lookup field
7. provide a name to the record and save it.

So you should finally get something like this:

Test it with a Work Order

Now its up to you to test the whole setup.
For doing this you just need to create a new Work Order and fill in our new Incident Type into the field Primary Incident Type on the Work Order form:

Note: With a standard Field Service setup you necessarily need to provide the group based Incident Type in the field Primary Incident Type BEFORE you save the Work Order the first time. Otherwise you’ll get an error saying “You can’t add an incident that is related to a requirement group template to a work order if there is already a requirement related to this work order.”

Than you can check if your Requirements have correctly been associated with the Work Order. For doing so you need to go to: Related=>Requirements=> change the View to “Unsubmitted“:

Customized Work Order form and Requirements view

Customization recommendation (especially if you more often have group based Requirements): create your own Resource Requirement view for the Work Order form.

And now the big moment comes: hit the Book button on top of the Work Order form:

You should now get search results according to the available Resources, the distance to the Service Location and the other parameters like Work Location, Organizational Unit, Resource Type and so forth:

Note: if you are going to use the same or a similar combination of Resources more often, it makes sense to create Requirement Group Templates whereas if you need a certain combination of Resources/Skills only one time it would theoretically be enough to create a Requirement Group without a Template. However it seems like if go down that road, you will not be able to associate your Requirement Group to a Work Order anymore later on. At least I couldn’t find a way to do that. That means that if you want your Users to be able to click the Book button on a Work Order and have the fancy algorithm execute its sophisticated multi-resource query, you will always need to create an Incident Type for it first and associate a Requirement Group Template to it.

What you can do is going back from a created Work Order that has a Requirement Group associated via =>Resource Requirement=>Requirement Group (or simply from the Field Service menu: Requirement Groups) and there editing the instance of the Requirement Group that is responsible for your Work Order.
This method allows you to create a kind of a standard Incident Type Requirement Group and Template which you always use for creating a new Work Order when you want to leverage the Group functionality.

Cascading & sync of attributes within the Requirement Group

a) Cascading attribute changes from Work Order to Requirements

(as of Sept. 2019)

gets initially populated and auto-updated for the Resource Requirement with flag “Is Primary“ only:

  • Time From Promised/Time To Promised
  • Time Window Start/Time Window End
  • Service Territory (remove)

gets initially populated and auto-updated for all associated Resource Requirements:

  • Duration
  • Date Window Start/Date Window Start End (into fields From Date / To Date )
  • Latitude/Longitude
  • Work Location
  • Service Territory (Create, Change)

b) Attributes kept in sync between Resource Requirements

Duration, From/To Date, <long/Lat, Work Location are always kept in sync within the Requirement Group, even when changed on a non-primary Requirement.

Service Territory however is only kept in sync, when it was changed from the Work Order AND the change was not a removal of the field content. So you can open the non-primary Requirements and assign different Territories to each.

As an example you might end up having Requirements like this in the end:

– Time Promised From/To and Time Window Start/End is only populated to the primary Requirement
– Territory has been removed from the Work Order after initial creation: this removal is cascading only to the primary Requirement (whereas an UPDATE/CREATE of the Territory would have been cascaded to all Requirements)

When asking yourself why is there a difference of cascading between Time Promised/Time Window vs. Date Window you can come to the assumption that it has to do with the Requirement Group functionality. If we check the UI (screen below) we can easily see that there are only the From Date / To Date fields (which are the counterparts to Date Window From /To from the Work Order). So Microsoft only takes care for a synchronization of these fields within a Requirement Group but not for the other Date/Time fields.

I was asking myself how can you have differing values in the Time Promised fields for Requirements of the same Requirement Group? As soon as you are scheduling or re-scheduling them, all of the Bookings based on these Requirements get moved simultaneously.
However it could make sense if you have a scenario where a team gets a Booking for a longer period of time (i.e. traveling on site together) but the actual “ToDo” of a Resource would only be for a shorter time frame and you want to keep this information somewhere.
If you are going to use it this way you should surely not create a hard booking restriction – for example with a Real Time Workflow – which forces you to not book outside of time promised from/to.

Also note that a Time From/To Promised on one of the non-primary Requirements will be ignored completely by the Schedule Assistant. However a Time From/To Promised on the Primary Requirement is a hard selection criteria for the Schedule Assistant, even if it doesn’t show these fields in the Filter panel, when scheduling a Requirement Group [improve@MS].

Find in my next article variations of the Requirement Group setup and further detailed hints related to it.

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